More Than A Tree

For Christmas three years ago, Herb's mom gave me a necklace that had a pendant called "The Tree of Life."  I just thought it was a neat piece of jewelry, but as we trudged through the adoption process, the jewelry began to have special meaning to me, especially when my cousin June shared this verse:

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. ~ Proverbs 13:12

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I know I have beat this verse into the ground, but it is just so awesome.  When we were waiting to be selected by a birth mother, I felt like my hope was constantly being deferred until the next situation arose.  When the Great Disruption of 2010 happened, the hope was REALLY deferred; yet not extinguished.  And when sweet Levi was put into my arms on October 12, I knew I had finally met my tree of life.

Now when I wear my tree of life necklace, I am reminded of the hope fulfilled.  Having Levi has given fresh life to our family, renewed my faith, driven me to want to be a better person, and healed emotional baggage {and not just in me}.  It is not Levi who is actually doing those things, but God has graciously used Levi in our lives.

The Tree of Life also makes me think about J, his birth mom.  The LIFE she chose to give him; the life she chose to give us.  The interconnectedness of the branches symbolize how our lives will always be intertwined with hers.  The tree represents family.  Someday Levi's third grade teacher will ask him to make a family tree, he'll say, "Which family?" and I'll help him make some kind of hybrid tree that represents all of us.  His family tree may not be "traditional," but because of the openness of our adoption, he will never have to wonder where his roots began.

And that, my friends, is the beauty of open adoption.

Tonight we had dinner with J and several other family members.  I got to meet Levi's birth grandma, aunt, cousin, and half sibling for the first time.  Picnic food was devoured, about one thousand pictures were snapped.  A little awkward?  Sure. Time I will treasure forever?  Definitely.

In preparation for tonight, I hunted for the perfect gift and keepsake to give J.  The original plan was to give her something when Levi was born, but never happened because of the way things went down.  I was thinking I'd go the route of Levi's birthstone on a necklace, but when I found another "Tree Of Life" necklace this week, I knew that was the perfect thing.  Of course, I accompanied it with a letter. I told her about the hope, the life, the family, the roots.

There may or may not have been tears shed {I am sworn to secrecy}.


  1. beyond beautiful.

    isn't that the truth about famiy trees? each one is unique!


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